Is business intelligence passé? This is not exactly a question one would expect to hear posed aloud at gathering convened by Cary, N.C.-based SAS Institute Inc. Yet, at its Global Forum Executive Conference 2009, Jim Davis, SVP and chief marketing officer for SAS, pondered the notion in an address to the conference.

“Business intelligence is just too broad a term,” Davis said, noting that “business analytics” is a more an apt signifier. Moreover, Davis said, viewing business analytics purely as a technology and not as a business practice was similarly ill-advised. An enterprise-level focus on analytics will be especially important, Davis added, as the size of the digital universe expands and companies need skills and practices in place to deal with exabytes of data, much of it unstructured.

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